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Wednesday , 14 April 2021

Alberta Budget 2021 highlights

Alberta’s Minister of Finance Travis Toews tabled the province’s 2021-22 budget on Thursday afternoon with projections of a $18.2 billion dollar deficit and a $1.7 billion increase in capital spending.

There are no new taxes or tax increases listed in the budget.

The estimated revenues is $43.7 billion in 2021-22, $1.4 billion higher than the third-quarter forecast for 2020-21.

Budget 2021 includes $2.5 billion in contingency amounts for disasters and emergencies, COVID-19, and recovery initiatives.

Taxpayer supported debt outstanding is estimated to total $98 billion at the end of 2020-21 and $115.8 billion at the end of 2021-22.

The budget says it is no longer feasible to balance the budget by 2022-23.

In order to guide fiscal decision-making during these uncertain times, the government said they have established three key fiscal anchors: keeping net debt-to-GDP under 30 per cent, getting per capita spending in-line with comparator provinces, and after the pandemic, re-establishing a commitment to balance the budget.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil price is forecast at the US $46 per barrel (/bbl) for 2021-22, reaching US$56.50/bbl by 2023-24. WTI was trading at about US$63 per barrel on Thursday.

Funding under the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) in 2021-22 will be $1.2 billion, providing increased investment when it is needed most. It will be reduced to $485 million in 2022-23 and 2023-24, resulting in an average funding level of $722 million per year. Funding in 2024-25 will be $722 million.

The Budget 2021 Capital Plan includes:

  • $5 .9 billion for municipal infrastructure;
  • $3 billion for capital maintenance and renewal;
  • $2 .4 billion for roads and bridges;
  • $2 .2 billion for health facilities;
  • $1 .6 billion for schools;
  • $2 .7 billion for other Capital Plan envelopes;
  • $0 .8 billion for the Economic Recovery Capital Envelope; and
  • $2 .2 billion in SUCH sector self-financed capital spending

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.